Ambitious and successful Europe based low cost carrier, Norwegian, has announced that it has placed the largest ever aircraft order by a European airline. The order is for 150 Airbus A320neos, and 222 Boeing 737s. This makes a departure for Norwegian from its Boeing-only strategy so far.
The order breakdown is as follows
- 100 firm orders for Boeing 737-8 Max
- 22 firm orders for Boeing 737-800 NG
- 100 purchase rights for Boeing 737 – unconfirmed
- 100 commitments (MoU) for Airbus A320neo
- 50 purchase rights (MoU) for Airbus A320neo – unconfirmed
The structure of the deal however shows Norwegian’s strong relationship with Boeing and also leaves open the possibility, at an extreme event, for the Airbus order to be cancelled. The Boeing order is valued at $11.4b.
Norwegian is the first European airline to make a firm commitment to the 737Max, which was launched after the A320neo, but has been able to add orders and commitments for over 1,000 units from 15 customers so far.
“This is a historic day for Norwegian – we have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreement with Boeing,” said Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos. “Boeing has played a major part in our strategy to develop a cost efficient and environmentally friendly operation with high customer satisfaction. We are very happy to continue our valuable cooperation and we are proud to be the first 737 MAX customer in Europe.”
“The A320neo will enable us increasing capacity while decreasing our operating costs,” also said Bjørn. “With this aircraft we will continue to boost our reputation for offering high quality, low fares service with the most modern and eco-efficient fleet of aircraft in Scandinavia”.
Norwegian presently operates a fleet of 62 Boeing 737NGs, and employs about 2,500 people. The total order is expected to value at around NOK127 billion at list prices, while the actual price could be significantly lower.
Like with most LCCs however, Norwegian probably will never operate all 372 aircraft at the same time, but will rather use them in ‘generations’ to replace each other. Norwegian has also expressed its interest to launch a long haul low cost operation this year, and has already secured orders for the Boeing 787s to be used on its operation.